Exclusive news and research on the wine, spirits and beer business

News Briefs for May 28, 2014

May 28, 2014

•Atchison, Kansas-based contract spirits producer MGP has added 14 new whiskies to its portfolio. The offerings include six traditional whiskies sourced from across the globe, as well as eight flavored whiskies, including cinnamon, apple, black licorice, honey and butterscotch entries, among others. According to MGP vice president of alcohol sales and marketing David Dykstra, the additions were developed “in response to burgeoning interests and trends” within the whiskey category. The releases follow MGP’s rollout of six new whiskey mash bills last spring, including several rye, malt and wheat whiskies and Bourbons. MGP produces its distilled spirits both at its Atchison headquarters, as well as at a second facility in Lawrenceburg, Indiana.

•Drinks industry veteran Mark Newman is resurrecting the Napa-based Whispering Dove wine brand. Last produced in the early 2000s, Whispering Dove is returning with three 2012 wines to be released July 1. They include Oakville Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon (retailing at $56), Napa Valley Grande Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon ($63) and Napa Valley Stagecoach Block Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon ($70). About 2,100 cases were produced across the three labels for 2012. Former owner of Arizona retailer Liquor Barn—where he was named a Market Watch Leader in 1989—Newman is now CEO of Accolade Brands (unrelated to Accolade Wines), an importer, producer and consultant for wineries in the south of France, Bordeaux, Italy, Spain and California, founded in 2004.

•Freixenet USA is releasing a new line of Barcelona-inspired wines in the U.S. beginning next month. The Mia line includes five wines: Mia Red 2012 (retailing at $10), Mia White 2013 ($10), Mia Rosé 2013 ($10), Mia Moscato ($12) and Mia Moscato Rosé ($12). The wines—which showcase native grapes like Tempranillo and Macabeo while embodying “the vibrancy of the Barcelona lifestyle”—were developed in collaboration with Spanish winemaker Gloria Collell, who has worked with Freixenet-owned wineries for 20 years. The Mia brand will be introduced this June to Southern California, Colorado, Texas, Florida and Massachusetts, with a national rollout planned for September.

•Hanzell Vineyards proprietor Alexander de Brye has named Jason Jardine as president of the historic Sonoma winery, effective June 1. Jardine had been named president of Napa’s Clos du Val Winery this past January. He has also held key management roles at Domaine Serene, Bonny Doon and Robert Mondavi Winery. Jardine will succeed current Hanzell president Jean Arnold Sessions, who will continue her private consulting work with the Jean Arnold Group. Bob Sessions, Jean’s husband and Hanzell’s winemaker emeritus, died May 13 at age 82.

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